In preparation for our New Years Eve and the upcoming work and school week, I food shopped at my neighborhood Fred Meyers this afternoon and unknowingly ended up in the millennial check out line.
The female checker and the shopper in front of me both had recently turned 21. I know this because they were yucking it up while the checker rang up her groceries.
"Do you like that hard cider? It looks like beer to me. What are you doing tonight to celebrate?" Yuck-ity yuck yuck yuck.
At one point they were talking back and forth so effortlessly, I figured they had to know each other. But they didn't.
Checker finished ringing up Shopper. They said their final goodbyes. And then Checker turned to me.
Checker: "Hello, ma'am."
Me: "Hi, how's your day going so far?"
Checker: "Fine, thanks."
< Silence >
She rang up my groceries and I could only think, "Dang! I'm even wearing my on-trend jeans with holes and I still look like an old lady to her!"
I find myself vascillating between wanting to be acknowledged by millennials and being completely annoyed by them.
There is a pink-haired millennial who rents a place behind our townhouse. I run into him most mornings as I walk Noé to school. He circles with his cell phone in hand, looking ridiculously lost as he wanders his own street in pajama bottoms. It took me about a week to figure out what the hell he was doing. Finally, one day I saw him approach a car that had pulled up. The guy in the car handed him a McDonalds bag and then drove off. He had UberEats delivering him a freaking Egg McMuffin every morning!
As a penny-pinching, middle-aged rage-y mom, this is wrong to me on so many levels.
First off, I can count *five* breakfast places, all of which serve some type of egg sandwich, within a three-block radius of our street. This includes a fast food place that has an almost identical breakfast menu to McDonalds. His legs looked perfectly fine as he wandered down the street looking for his Uber delivery. And if he doesn't want to walk, heaven knows there are plenty of Lime Bikes lying around at any given time on our street.
Second, how much does it cost to get an egg McMuffin delivered to your house? I didn't find out, but the Seattle urban markup must be pretty steep. The closest McDonalds to our neighborhood is about three miles away. Plus delivery and tip, are you kidding? Whatever coding job he has better be pretty dang lucrative.
Third, even if that little pink squirt makes more money than me (which is often the case when you live just a couple miles away from Amazonia and all the other neighborhood tech companies), does he not understand the law of compound interest? I may just tape this article with accompanying charts to his front door. Those little egg sandwiches may only cost him twenty dollars each today, but they will cost him hundreds of dollars a pop by the time he wants to retire. I have another millennial co-worker who has made a really high salary since he graduated college, but ten years later, hasn't saved or invested a cent because he "doesn't trust the stock market." These super smart kids are just incredibly dumb sometimes.
I know some really impressive millennials. We host a Seattle Times intern in our home each summer. Each has been more mature, more gracious, more accomplished than the next. And I'm also quite positive that the generation before me found me just as irritating as I find some of these younger kids. From my vantage point - this generation is the pulse of the country and they certainly have the most energy, and you want to endear yourself to them. But they don't have enough life experience to command respect. It's just a strange place when you realize you are no longer the Up-and-Comer but rather the Judger from Above - The Middle-Aged Rager.